Following negotiation and financial disclosure between the lawyers representing each person in the marriage, it is preferable that agreement can be reached in relation to finances.
The easier path; this is more likely to happen if both parties agree that ending the marriage in the simplest and clearest way from a financial perspective is the most beneficial path for all concerned. It can lead to a smoother and faster divorce process which may alleviate some of the stress of the process and save significantly on legal costs.
Applications for ancillary relief may be made to a court if negotiations have failed to produce a satisfactory financial settlement for either or both of the two persons involved. This process is seen as separate or additional to the legal process of ending the marriage.
An ancillary relief settlement will be finalised by a court order. On such an application, the Court will review evidence in relation to the parties’ personal financial positions and consider factors prescribed by legislation including: the ages of the parties, the length of the marriage, the respective earning potential, the standard of living of the family before the breakdown, and sometimes conduct. Having expert legal advice at this point will prove invaluable, particularly to the spouse considered the most vulnerable. An independent family practitioner may be consulted who can provide a considered view on the outcome following a trial. This process, known as Family Dispute Resolution, Financial Dispute Resolution or FDR, can improve the likelihood of settlement.